What should I look for when buying my next A3 3.2l V6?

Ross87

Registered User
Hi Guys,

I'm looking to get myself an A3 3.2l V6 pretty soon. I'd love to get the S3/RS3 but money doesn't permit at this time. What I want to know is what to look out for when buying one of these.

I know that on occasion there are issues with the cam chain stretching and the ESP warning light that can indicate a number of issues. I'm aiming to buy an 04-06 plate car and wanted to see if you've got any helpful tips on things to look out for.

Thanks in advance,
Ross
 

Jake 61

Teacher of bad things..!
VCDS Map User
Gold Supporter
Firstly, I would buy a good clean 55 plate and save £200.00 a year on road tax over a 06 or later model.
When you start one up, it should purr, no rattles or smoke.
I looked at a good few A3's when I bought my one and there's a lot of cr@p out there which is easily spotted. Good one's stand out and you won't miss one if you see it.
Always check the history and MOT's.
There's a lot of luck involved in finding a good one.
Plenty info on here regarding Haldex issues, some of which are not wallet busters. If it spins the front wheels, it will probably need a Haldex pump.
I just had an oil change yesterday and was told that 6000m oil changes were the best protection for timing chains.
The rest is standard A3 things to look out for, like blistering paint on the front arches and to the front of the rear arches, electrics gremlins, etc.
I hope you get lucky, because they are really good cars when they are running well.
;)
 

Dave90

Registered User
Ive just bought one and its been a nightmare so far!

Absolute first thing id test if i was to buy another would be to see if the car holds revs at 2k rpm, basically try and hold your foot on the pedal and balance it at 2k revs, if the revs bounce above and below walk away before looking any further!

I tried the software update and coilpack recall and neither worked although it does drive a little better, so i think i have a stretched timing chain.

Other than that you should be alright
 

Loque

Registered User
In my one year experience:
  • Well documented 3.2 v6 ECU update will need to happen (2k rev bounce) [SVM: 8P01A005], I had to get applied to mine and it definitely helped it.
  • Typical DSG issues can happen (also pretty well documented)
  • Changed battery which stopped my quite rare and random PRNDS flashing on startup in cold weather.
I absolutely love the car, I don't get great MPG from it (engine sounds too nice) but I think it's still cheaper than coughing up more for a TDI equivalent :¬P

I think its most fun between 4-5k revs... can be driven gently/smoothly also (I have had people tell me how smooth it is and it is lowered on 18"s, I personally would call it firm :¬P)

I would say the only thing that really concerns my wallet is anything that requires someone to get behind the engine, toothed belt (which is supposed to last the lifetime of the car, so look for owners who have taken it for decent services and enjoyed looking after the car)...
 

Dave90

Registered User
Loque, you say the update helped your car, has it fully cured the rev bounce or is it stil lthere a bit? Mine seems a lot better and holds better at 2k but still goes up and down a bit.

Ive came to the conclusion it must be my timing chain?
 

Loque

Registered User
I thought I noticed it doing it the other day (only very small bubbling in comparison) but will go for a spin today and have a look (I'll try make a vid for you holding it at 2k). I remember it being noticeably better after it had the patch applied to it.

When I took mine in to Audi I was hoping it was going to fix the DSG lurch as well, which it didn't... hopefully now I understand it better I'll be getting to the bottom of that soon too, only happens when it is warm so thinking it might be an oil thing at the moment.
 

Loque

Registered User
As I do more and more reading it seems I may be forking out for the a new mechatronic unit, which may be pricey :¬P - *meh* good thing it's a beautiful car :¬D drive it when it's warmed up!
 

Loque

Registered User
Actually kinda tricky to hold it at 2k :¬P http://loque.net/car/IMG_1431.MOV

Also Ross; mine has some DSG lurch issue in 1st which only really shows its face when warmed up and in stop/start traffic; seems to be quite common with a lot of the DSG boxes on VAG cars - can be relatively costly to fix so if it is DSG... make sure you get to drive it for a good while and that it doesn't lurch... can be mechatronic unit or clutchpack...
 

Ross87

Registered User
Cheers for the advice guys, really useful!

I've looked at 2 cars so far, 1 more promising than the other. The 1st had a proper rattle when the engine was ticking over, more like rumbling over than ticking tbh so left that there.

Jake, thanks for the 2005 or older tip, anything to save £200 a year for nothing is a bonus!

Loque, I'm looking to get either the manual (preferred) or the S Tronic, never really been a fan of Auto's. Does the lurch only occur when the engine has warmed up then?
 

LewisR

Registered User
Cheers for the advice guys, really useful!

I've looked at 2 cars so far, 1 more promising than the other. The 1st had a proper rattle when the engine was ticking over, more like rumbling over than ticking tbh so left that there.

Jake, thanks for the 2005 or older tip, anything to save £200 a year for nothing is a bonus!

Loque, I'm looking to get either the manual (preferred) or the S Tronic, never really been a fan of Auto's. Does the lurch only occur when the engine has warmed up then?

DSG can be driven in manual mode ;)
 
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